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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Da worm(ing)

Faith, my sister who works as a public school nurse in Tabuk City, was telling me of how efficient a manager Secretary Jesli Lapus is over his "house," the Department of Education (Dep-Ed). One proof of this, she said, is the sustained health program of the Department (in coordination with the Department of Health), which includes a deworming campaign with the use of imported Hyemex tablets.


She then gave me a lecturette on the "alien residents" in our tummies -- the round, ring, pin, hook, tape, thread, and hook worms.  She told me of a patient at the Kalinga Provincial Hospital who had to go under the (big) knife because the stubborn worms had dug deeply into his intestinal walls. With this story and a fully illustrated Modern Medical Guide as a visual aid, she convinced me not only to make sure my two kids take deworming meds every three months starting this month, but also to take these 800 grams of Hyemex twice in the next 12 months.


While we were talking, I was reminded of my elementary days when we had to poop in our backyards and note the number and length of lifeless worms that got flushed out of our system.  I never understood why we had to do the disgusting thing.  I was to learn from my sister that the school nurses have to make a record of those to help track the medical history of each child. Ok, fine.  At least now, I don't have to be required to examine my poop after taking in Hyemex hehe.


Now let's talk of another type of worm that feeds on or attacks, not human gut, but whale bones. Here's an interesting discussion on this invertebrate animal from the Sander Family's Gross News: Gross (but Clean) Stories from Around the World ([Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2006), 61]:




...The babies are born neither male nor famile.  If a baby worm floats around and lands on a whale bone, it becomes female.  If it lands on a female worm, it becomes male.  And male worms, as many as one hundred or more, live inside the female. The males cannot feed themselves, and the female cannot feed them either.  The males live their entire livefs eating only the yolk left over from the egg they hatched from. When that's gone, they die.


...The females have no mouths, no intestines, and no eyes. When they land on a whale bone, they send tiny roots into the bone to anchor themselves.  Not part of the worm, the roots are filled with bacteria that eat the whale-bone marrow and then poop out fats and oils, which become the worms' food.



Mmm... Swormmm...


Since bacteria is mentioned in the quote above, I'll just go ahead and share some more of what I learned from this book:


The average bacteria population on every square inch of your skin is 32 million (Whew!  Am I so glad dem bacteria don't grow into the size of earthworms nyehehe)


You got 200+ bacteria species in your mouth (Say bye-bye to romance :) )


Your daily poop ejection churns out 1 billion to 1 trillion bacteria (I wonder how many bacteria got stuck under my fingernails after having cleaned up my kids who often call me after they answered the call of nature a thousand times. :> )


Booger is good food; the load of bacteria in it helps boost your immune system (My wife doesn't care a whit; she still finds my nose-picking in front of her disgusting hehe)


I guess that's enough for now.  Already, I could hear bleahs...ewws...yucks... and yayys...


By the way, I read most of the Sander book over dinner. LOL

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